The Lamp of The Soul
The light in the head is explained to be the collective flow of the light which is variously supposed to be somewhere near the coronal artery. the pineal gland, or over the medulla oblongata. Just as the light of a lamp burning within the four walls of a home presents a luminous appearance at the keyhole, so even does the light of the Pineal Gland itself at the crown of the head.
All things can be known in the vivid light of the intuition
First, there is that knowledge which the ordinary man can possess, which perhaps is best expressed in the word theoretical. It makes a man aware of certain hypotheses, possibilities and explanations. It gives to him an understanding of ways, means and methods, and enables him to take the first step towards correct ascertainment and achievement. This is true of that knowledge which Patanjali deals with. By acting upon this knowledge and by conforming to the requirements of the intended investigation or development, the aspirant becomes aware of the light in the head.
Secondly, discriminative knowledge is the next type utilized by the aspirant. The light having been contacted, is used, and the result is that the pairs of opposites become apparent, duality is known, and the question of choice comes in. The light of God is cast upon either side of the razor edged path the aspirant is endeavouring to tread, and at first this “noble middle” path is not so apparent as that which lies on either side. By the addition of dispassion or non-attachment to discriminative knowledge, hindrances are worn away, the veil which hides the light becomes increasingly thin until eventually the third or highest light is touched.
Thirdly, the “light of the intuition” is one of the terms which can be applied to this type of illuminative knowledge. It results from the treading of the path and the overcoming of the pairs of opposites, and is the forerunner of complete illumination and the full light of day.
“Intelligence is the emancipator—the forerunner of discriminative knowledge, as the dawn is of sunrise. On the production of intuitional insight, the yogi comes to know everything.”
These flashes of intuition are at first simply vivid flashes of illumination, breaking forth into the mind consciousness and disappearing almost instantaneously. But they come with increasing frequency as the habit of meditation is cultivated and persist for increasingly long periods as stability of the mind is achieved. Gradually the light shines forth in a continuous stream until the aspirant walks in the full light of day. When the intuition begins to function, the aspirant has to learn to utilize it by turning the light which is in him upon all matters “obscure, subtle and remote,” and thus enlarging his horizon, solving his problems, and increasing his efficiency. What he sees and contacts through the use of this spiritual light has then to be registered, understood and adapted for use by the man upon the physical plane, through the medium of the brain.
Here is where the rational mind plays its part, interpreting, formulating and transmitting to the brain that which the true spiritual man on his own plane knows, sees, and understands. Thus this knowledge becomes available in full waking consciousness to the incarnated son of God, the man on the physical plane. Another side of this, equally true and necessary, is pictured for us by Charles Johnston on page of his edition. He says:
“This divining power of intuition is the power which lies above and behind the so-called rational mind; the rational mind formulates a question and lays it before the intuition, which gives a real answer, often immediately distorted by the rational mind, yet always embodying a kernel of truth. It is by this process, through which the rational mind brings questions to the intuition for solution, that the truths of science are reached, the flashes of discovery and genius. But this higher power need not work in subordination to the so-called rational mind, it may act directly, as full illumination, ‘the vision and the faculty divine.'”
Understanding of the mind-conscious comes from one-pointed meditation upon the heart centre.
The sons of men are distinguished from the animal kingdom by the possession of intelligence, of the rational reasoning mind.
Hence in the Ageless Wisdom, the Secret Doctrine of the world, human beings are frequently called “sons of mind.”
It is this which gives them their sense of individuality, of their separate identity; it is this which makes them egos. In the centre of the brain, seated in the pineal gland, we are told is the home of the soul, an outpost of the life of God, a spark of pure spiritual fire.
This is the lowest point which pure spiritual life, direct from the Monad, our Father in Heaven, contacts or reaches. It is the termination of the sutratma, or thread which links and connects the various sheaths and passes from the monad on its own high plane, via the soul body on the higher levels of the mental plane down into the physical vehicle.
This life of God is triple and combines the energy of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, and is therefore responsible for the full functioning of all the parts of man’s nature on all planes, and for all states of consciousness.
One strand of this triple thread or path, the first, is the giver of life, of spirit, of energy.
Another, the second, is responsible for the consciousness or intelligence aspect, for the power of spirit to respond to contact and to evolve response.
The third concerns the life of the matter or body aspect.
The first aspect via the monad reaches to the pineal gland—the point where spirit resides in man.
The second or consciousness aspect, via the ego, makes a point of contact with the heart centre, whilst the third aspect or third part of the sutratma links up with the centre at the base of the spine, which is the main source of the personality or bodily activity.
Through concentration, therefore, on the light in the head, knowledge of the spiritual worlds and of those pure spirits who work and walk in them is achieved, for Atma or spirit shines there. Similarly through concentrated meditation upon the heart, knowledge of the second aspect, of the conscious intelligent principle which makes a man a son of God, is gained. Through the development of the head and the use of the head centre, the will is brought into functioning activity.
It is the characteristic of spirit, and demonstrates purpose and control. Through the unfolding and use of the heart centre the love-wisdom aspect is similarly brought into use and the love of God is seen working out in a man’s life and work. For the mind of God is love, and the love of God is intelligence, and these two aspects of one great quality are brought into play for the working out of His will and purpose.
Experience (of the pairs of opposites) comes from the inability of the soul to distinguish between the personal self and the purusa (or spirit). The objective forms exist for the use (and experience) of the spiritual man. By meditation upon this, arises the intuitive perception of the spiritual nature.
Again we have quite a loose paraphrase of the original text, but one which nevertheless conveys the correct interpretation. We have seen in the preceding sutras that the narrow path to be trodden between the pairs of opposites (through the practice of discrimination and dispassion) is the path of equilibrium, of balance, the noble middle path. This sutra is in the nature of a comment upon this stage of the soul’s experience and points out the following lessons:
First, that the reason we are confronted by the pairs of opposites, and so frequently choose that line of activity or attitude of mind which produces in us pleasure or pain, is because we fail to distinguish between the lower nature and the higher, between the personal self (functioning as a physical, an emotional, and a mental unit) and the divine spirit to be found in each of us. We identify ourselves with the form aspect, and not with the spirit. We regard ourselves as the not-self, for aeons of time and forget our sonship, our unity with the father and the fact that we are, in reality, the indwelling self.
Second, that the purpose of form is simply to enable the self to contact worlds otherwise closed to it, and to develop full awareness in all parts of the Father’s kingdom, and thus demonstrate as a fully conscious son of God. Through the form, experience is gained, consciousness awakened, faculty is developed and powers are unfolded.
Third, that as this fact is grasped intellectually and meditated upon interiorly, awareness of one’s identity with the spiritual nature and one’s distinction from the form is developed. One knows oneself in truth to be, not the form but the indweller, not the material self but the spiritual, not the differentiated aspects but the One alone, and thus the great process of liberation is carried forward.
The one who experinces, who incarnates and who achieves divine expression through the medium of form is the soul, the self, the spiritual conscious man, the Divine within.
As the result of this experience and meditation, the higher hearing, touch, sight, taste and smell are developed, producing intuitional knowledge. Through meditation the aspirant becomes aware of the counterparts of the five senses as they are found in the subtler realms, and through their awakening and conscious use he becomes able to function as freely on the inner planes as he does on the physical. He can then serve intelligently in those realms and cooperate with the great evolutionary scheme.
The senses may be defined as those organs whereby man becomes aware of his surroundings.
If the fifth element represent the powers of earth, water, fire and air, so does the sixth sense represents the powers of hearing, touch, sight, taste and smell. The fifth element is the powers of the sixth sense, and is above the five senses and above time and space, and above matter.
In the following table the numbers one, two, three, four and five under each sense refer to the planes of manifestation as given in the first tabulation above.
The First Sense Hearing.
- Physical hearing.
- Higher clairaudience.
- Comprehension (of four sounds)
The Second Sense Touch or feeling.
- Physical touch.
- Planetary psychometry.
- Healing. 5. Active service.
The Third Sense Sight.
- Physical sight.
- Higher clairvoyance.
- Divine vision.
Fourth Sense Taste.
- Physical taste.
The Fifth Sense Smell.
- Physical smell.
- Emotional idealism.
- Spiritual discernment.
- All knowledge.
These powers are obstacles to the highest spiritual realisation, but serve as magical powers in the objective worlds (the three dimensional world)
One fact continuously emerges of spiritual development, and that is, that the psychic powers, higher and lower, are hindrances to the highest spiritual state and must be left behind by the man who can function freed from the three worlds altogether. This is a hard lesson for the aspirant to grasp. lie is apt to think that a tendency towards clairvoyance or clairaudience is indicative of progress and a sign that his practice of meditation is beginning to take effect. It might prove just the opposite and inevitably will, should the aspirant be attracted by, or attached to, any of these forms of psychic faculty.
By subjugation of the upward life (the udana) there is liberation from water, the thorny path, and mire, and the power of ascension is gained. Pervading the whole body is that sum total of nervous force, called by the Hindu, prana. It is controlled by the mind via the brain; it is the vitality which brings into activity the sense-organs and produces the outward-going life of the man; its medium of distribution is the nervous system through certain great distributing centres called plexi, or lotuses. The nerve ganglia known to orthodox medicine, are the reflections or shadows of the more vital plexi.
The student will not go far astray if he regards the sum total of prana in the human body as constituting the vital or etheric body. This etheric body is formed entirely of energy currents, and is the substratum of living substance which underlies the dense physical form. One term applied to this energy is the “vital airs.” Prana is fivefold in its manifestation, thus corresponding to the five states of mind, the fifth principle and to the five modifications of the thinking principle. Prana in the solar system works out as the five great states of energy which we call planes, the medium of consciousness; these are:
- The atmic or spiritual plane,
- The Divine or intuitional plane,
- The mental plane,
- The emotional, astral or kamic plane,
- The physical plane.
- Freedom from water is a symbolic way of stating that the astral nature is subjugated and the great waters of illusion can no longer hold the emancipated soul. The energies of the solar plexus no longer dominate.
- Liberation from the thorny path refers to the path of physical life, and is nowhere more beautifully referred to than by the Divine in His parable of the Sowers, where some of the seed fell among thorns. The explanation is given that the thorns are the cares and troubles of worldly existence which succeed in choking the spiritual life and in veiling the true man for so long. The thorny path must lead to the northern path and that in turn to the Path of Initiation. In one of the old books in the Archives of the Lodge, are found these words: “Let the seeker after truth escape from drowning and dimb the river’s bank. Let him turn towards the northern star and on firm ground stand, his face directed towards the light. Then let the star lead.”
- Liberation from the mire refers to that mixed nature of kama-manas, desire and lower mind, which causes the unique problem of humanity. It is a symbolic way also of referring to the great illusion which snares the pilgrim for so long. When the aspirant can walk in the light, having found the light within himself in the Holy of Holies, then the illusion is dissipated.
The outer court corresponds to those energies and their corresponding organs found below the diaphragm. The Holy Place is the centres and organs in the upper part of the body from the throat to the diaphragm. The Holy of Holies is the head where is the throne of God, the Mercy Seat, and the overshadowing glory.
When these three aspects of freedom have been gained and the man is no longer dominated by the water (Revelation 21:1 says: the sea is no more), the mire or physical plane life, then “the power of ascension” is gained and he can ascend into heaven at will. The Divine or spiritual man can stand upon the mountain of ascension, having passed through the four crises or points of control from the birth to the crucifixion. Thus the “udana” or upward life becomes the controlling factor and the downward life no longer dominates.
Through subjugation of the samana, the spark becomes a flame.
“The spiritual man is enmeshed in the web of the emotions; desire, fear, ambition, passion; and impeded by the mental forms of separateness and materialism. When these meshes are sundered, these obstacles completely overcome, then the spiritual man stands forth in his own wide world, strong, mighty, wise. He uses divine powers, with a divine scope and energy, working together with divine Companions. To such a one it is said: ‘Thou art now a disciple, able to stand, able to hear, able to see, able to speak, thou hast conquered desire and attained to self-knowledge, thou hast seen thy soul in its bloom and recognized it, and heard the voice of the silence.”
The wonderful synthesis of the teaching is nowhere more apparent than in this sutra, for the point reached here is of a higher order and intermediate.
We find the true man entangled in the meshes of the psychic nature and the light in him veiled and hidden. By learning to discriminate between the true self and the lower personal self he disentangles himself, the light which is in him is seen and he is liberated. Having achieved liberation, developed the soul-powers and attained mastery, there opens up before him a still vaster and wider experience and realization.
Intuitive knowledge is developed through the use of the discriminative faculty when there is one-pointed concentration upon moments and their continuous succession. It has been said that a complete understanding of the Law of Cycles would bring man to a high degree of initiation. This Law of Periodicity underlies all the processes of nature and its study would lead a man out of the world of objective effects into that of subjective causes. It has also been said that time itself is simply a succession of states of consciousness and this is true of an atom, a man or a God.
“As an atom is a substance in which minuteness reaches its limit, so a moment is a division of time in which minuteness reaches its limit. Or a moment is that much of time which an atom takes in leaving the position in space it occupies and reaching the next point. The succession of moments is the non-cessation of the glow thereof.”
When we can realize that an atom and a moment are one and the same, and that back of these lies the Realizer or Cognizer of both, we have got the clue to all states of consciousness itself, and to the nature of energy. We shall also have reached a true understanding of the Eternal Now, and a just appreciation of the significance of the past, the present, and the future. This, we are told here, can be gained by concentrated meditation upon time and its units. Men are found to exist in seven main types, with distinguishing characteristics and natures and with definite qualities predisposing them to certain definite aspects of the Path of Return.
Of this knower we can apply the words of the teacher whose works are found in the archives of the Lodge:
“To him, standing before the Spark, the flame and the smoke are equally to be seen. To him, the shadow veils the reflection and yet the light is seen. To him, the tangible but demonstrates the intangible, and both reveal the spirit, whilst form, color and number speak aloud the word of God.”
This intuitive knowledge, which is the great Deliverer, is omnipresent and omniscient and includes the past, the present and the future in the Eternal Now.
The only part of this sutra which is not clear even to the superficial reader is the significance of the words Eternal Now, and these it is not possible to comprehend until soul-consciousness is developed. To say that time is a succession of states of consciousness and that the present is lost in the past instantaneously, and merged in the future as it is experienced, is of small avail to the average student. To say that there is a time when sight is lost in vision, when the sum total of life anticipations are realized in a moment of accomplishment and that this persists for ever, and to point to a state of consciousness in which there is no sequence of events and no succession of realizations is to speak in a language of mystery. Yet so it is and will be. When the aspirant has reached his goal he knows the true significance of his immortality and the true nature of his liberation.
Space and time become for him meaningless terms. The only true Reality is seen to be the great central life force, remaining unchanged and unmoved at the centre of the changing evanescent temporal forms. “I am,” says the human unit and regards himself as the self, and identifies himself with the changing form. Time and space are for him the true realities. “I am That,” says the aspirant and seeks to know himself as he truly is, a living word, part of a cosmic phrase. For him space no longer exists; he knows himself as omnipresent. “I am That I am,” says the freed soul, the liberated man, the Divine. Neither time nor space exist for him, and omniscience and omnipresence are his distinctive qualities.
Intuition produces knowledge of all things simultaNEOusly, and is quite independent of the ordinary rules of cognition. It is the highest knowledge which can be desired, and is a sure index of the state of absoluate oneness. When the objective forms and the soul have reached a condition of equal purity, then is At-one-ment achieved and liberation results. This is how NEO free himself from the clutches of The Matrix, and break through the negative veil of ignorance.
Icke points to the profound waking-up experienced by Neo in The Matrix: he wakes up, gets back into his body, masters the protocols of the computer-generated false reality, and sets about to challenge the entire system. As Morpheus says, you won’t even need to dodge the bullets; they will have no consequence on you because your new state of consciousness will transcend their illusory nature. Icke implies we need to be like Neo. Once Neo “reached that point of reconnected awareness, the agents, the sentient programs, all-powerful until then, were suddenly no problem to overcome,” writes Icke. What Neo did, so can we all, Icke urges. We similarly can remember who we are, where true reality comes from, and reconnect with our true and infinite Self, and “that moment is fast approaching,”
The more we are transformed spiritually, the more we become resonant with the zero point and Divine energy, and the more the mind begins to merge with, and identify with, this unchanging truth of who we are. The more we exist in this Divine resonance, the more it becomes part of the conscious awareness of our everyday existence. Eventually we become transformed by the continual experience of this energy flowing through us so that we become one in awareness with this energy. This is known as cosmic consciousness.
That which veils the light of the soul has been rendered pure, and thus the light of God streams forth. That which proved a hindrance and an obstacle to the full expression of divinity in manifestation has been so dealt with that now it serves as an adequate expression and means of service.
The soul can now function freely and intelligently in the three worlds because complete unity has been reached between the lower and the higher man. The soul and its vehicles form a unit and are at one; complete alignment of the bodies has been achieved and the Son of God can function freely on earth. Thus has the great objective been reached and through a following of the eight means of yoga the soul can manifest through the lower threefold man, and in its turn form a medium of expression for the spirit.
Matter has been brought into a state where its vibration can synchronise with that of the soul, and the result is that—for the first time—spirit can make its presence felt, for “matter is the vehicle for the manifestation of soul on this plane of experience and the soul is the vehicle for the manifestation of spirit on a higher turn of the spiral. These three are a trinity synthesized by life which pervades them all.” To the man who has achieved this there is no rebirth. He is free and liberated, and can say with full conscious realization of the significance of the words:
“My life (the lower physical life) is hid with Christ (the soul life) in God (the spirit).” (Col: 3:3)